Wednesday, September 16, 2009
MacAvoy, Leslie. Review of Joshua James Shaw's EMMANUEL LEVINAS ON THE PRIORITY OF ETHICS. NDPR (September 2009).
Shaw, Joshua James. Emmanuel Levinas on the Priority of Ethics: Putting Ethics First. Amherst, NY: Cambria, 2008. In Emmanuel Levinas on the Priority of Ethics: Putting Ethics First, Shaw suggests that Levinas scholarship increasingly has concerned itself with questions of language and epistemology, and consequently has lost sight of what Levinas's philosophy is really about, namely ethics. Shaw opposes the 'deconstructionist' reading, which holds that Levinas cannot provide a normative ethics and can tell us nothing about how we should act. Shaw argues that Levinas's philosophy does contain a normative dimension since the face-to-face encounter discloses an obligation to care for others, and this, he argues, can ground a normative ethics. He defends this claim by offering a 'pragmatist' reading of Levinas, emphasizing the practical normative character of the relation to the other, which Shaw elaborates using ideas from analytic moral philosophy. . . . Read the rest here: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=17427.